Retired doctor discovers new dinosaur with a honkin' big schnozz

Jeremy Lockwood is a retired medical doctor who decided to spend his lockdown getting a PhD. With nothing else to do in a pandemic, he got to sorting through a box of iguanodon parts from the Natural History Museum of London that had been discovered on the Isle of Wight — and in the process, stumbled on a uniquely bulbous nasal bone. From The Guardian:

"For over 100 years, we'd only seen two types of dinosaur on the Isle of Wight – the plant-eating Iguanodon bernissartensis and Mantellisaurus atherfieldensis," he said. "I was convinced that subtle differences between bones would reveal a new species, so I set out to measure, photograph and study the anatomy of each bone."

After four years of unpacking and studying boxes of bones, he began reconstructing the skull of a specimen that had been in storage since 1978 and found several striking features that set it apart.

"The number of teeth was a sign," Lockwood said. "Mantellisaurus has 23 or 24, but this has 28. It also had a bulbous nose, whereas the other species have very straight noses. Altogether, these and other small differences made it very obviously a new species."

He added: "This discovery made it one of the happiest days of lockdown."

The big-nosed herbivore has been named Brighstoneus simmondsi, after the Brightstone village on the Isle of Wight near the site where it was found, and after an amateur collector named Keith Simmonds who was involved in the discovery.

New species of big-nosed dinosaur discovered by retired doctor [Hannah Devlin / The Guardian]